TRANSITION TO A NEW SOCIETY

(MANIFESTO OF BARCELONA)

Barcelona, Nov. 1992

A group of European personalities met in Barcelona to evaluate the initial proposals of TRANSIT which intends to deal with the problems linked to the transition to a new society.

After discussion of the global and particular proposals of the Program, the Group adopted the following conclusions:

THE NECESSITY FOR A PROGRAM OF ACTION

1. There are underlying and growing fears about what may result from changes that are underway in European society. Many individuals are afraid of losing their jobs, fearful of losing their freedom because of the loss of confidence in current political institutions, and frightened of losing their identity. Additional anxieties derive from growing feelings of disorientation and confusion which are linked to the inability of conventional political and economic approaches to cope with emerging realities. Organisations, both public and private, are falling into a state of growing paralysis which is related to their inability to master complexity. Current political, social and economic formulae could have reached some sort of limit which must be overcome.

2. The Group understands that there is a change of civilization underway leading to another type of civilization based mainly on knowledge, information and communication.

3. It is expected that the coming civilization will be deeply rooted in existing cultural forms but even more on new emerging ones. The Group considered that the main difficulty is the gap between the pace of technological change and cultural evolution, as far as each of them evolves differently.

4. We recognize a need to develop new mental models and new paradigms to enable people to face up to the challenge of the transition with less pain. Individuals and organisations need to reach deeper understanding of what the transition is about and must be aware of the need to increase our ability to make more informed and responsible choice. It is necessary to reorient the development of technology to make it more appropriate for human and environmental needs.

5. We believe that the problems to be dealt with relate closely to economic, social and political issues. It is necessary to concentrate on the interlinkage between these factors and the impact of technology.

We propose that these problems are addressed within the framework of a coordinated Programme in Europe. This Programme must be include not only research and studies but, through real life examples experienced in the field, exchanges and discussions of results and from them diffusion of knowledge.

WE RECOMMEND

- That a network should be established among groups working in Europe in the area related with elaboration of thinking and experiences about the transition. Barcelona is considered to be  a very good place to act as a focal point in this process.

- That initiatives, and in particular TRANSIT, which the group fully support, should develop within the guidelines established.

We expect that these initiatives will address politicians, managers in the private sector and European people in general. We believe the efforts undertaken through the initiatives will provide hope for individiduals and organisations who are today so concerned about the future.

Barcelona

November 27th 1992

 

PARTICIPANTS  IN THE MEETING

 

Jaques Arlandis
IDATE
Montpellier
Scientific Director and Deputy Director

 

Josep Bañeres
Fundació LA CAIXA
Barcelona
Director de recursos informàtics

 

Ernest Braun
OPEN UNIVERSITY
Milton Keynes
Porfessor

 

Josep Burcet
Despatx de Sociologia
Barcelona

 

André Danzin
Président du CESELEC
Président du Programme Intergouvernemental de l'Informatique de l'UNESCO
Conseiller auprés des Communautées Européenes, de l'OTAN et de l'UNESCO
Paris

 

Jordi Graells
Director de l'Institut CERDÀ
Barcelona

 

Santiago Guillén
Director General del
CENTRE DE DIVULGACIO DE L'INFORMÀTICA
Barcelona

 

Joan Majó Cruzate
Advisor "hors classe" at the Commission Of the European Communities, in charge of development of information technologies and telecommunications policy.
Bruxeles

 

Eleonora Masini
Chair Executive Council
World Futures Studies Federation
Roma

 

Paull Robathan
Chairman of
INFACT Ltd.
London